Maximise your Avios, air miles and hotel points

BEST BONUS EVER: Get 12,000 to 30,000 sign-up miles with the Virgin Atlantic credit cards!

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Virgin Atlantic has brought back an impressive special offer for its new Virgin Money-issued Reward and Reward+ credit cards.

This is the biggest bonus that Virgin Atlantic has EVER run on these cards.  If you have not already applied then this is the ideal time to jump in.

For a limited period:

you will earn an extra 7,000 miles (12,000 miles in total) on the FREE Virgin Atlantic Reward credit card 

you will get an extra 15,000 Flying Club miles (30,000 miles in total) if you take out the Virgin Atlantic Reward+ credit card, which has a £160 fee

This offer runs until 30th June.  You can apply here.

You have two choices – 12,000 Flying Club miles for free on the ‘no fee’ card, or 30,000 Flying Club miles for £160 on the paid card, plus an exceptionally high earning rate for the next 12 months.  It is up to you.

If this article sounds familiar it is because it is based on the one I used when this offer last ran!

Virgin Flying Club Reward credit card extra bonus

Here are the details:

The free card:

The free Virgin Atlantic Reward credit card is a Mastercard which earns 0.75 miles per £1 spent.  The representative APR is 22.9% variable.

New sign-ups to the Virgin Atlantic Reward Credit Card will be able to earn up to 12,000 miles:

  • 5,000 miles for the first purchase made on the card in the first 90 days
  • Plus another 7,000 miles when you apply on or before 30th June and you spend £1,000 on the card within 90 days of opening the account

This means that you are earning 12,000 Virgin Flying Club miles – which are worth around £120 if redeemed for long-haul premium flights – for free.

Virgin Atlantic Reward credit card

The paid card:

The £160 Virgin Atlantic Reward+ credit card is a Mastercard which earns 1.5 miles per £1 spent.  The representative APR is 63.9% variable including the £160 fee based on a notional £1200 credit limit The interest rate on purchases is 22.9% variable.

If you take out the Virgin Atlantic Reward+ credit card you will be able to earn up to 30,000 miles:

  • 15,000 miles for the first purchase made on the card in the first 90 days
  • Plus another 15,000 miles when you apply on or before 30th June and you spend £3,000 on the card within 90 days of opening the account

With this deal, you are receiving 30,000 Virgin Flying Club miles, which are worth around £300 if redeemed for long-haul premium flights.

Virgin Reward Plus credit card extra bonus

The Reward+ card remains the better deal in my view.  Whilst the sign-up deals are roughly equal (12,000 miles for free vs 30,000 miles for £160), once you have the Reward+ card you are earning the superior 1.5 miles per £1 whenever you shop.  You also trigger the upgrade and companion vouchers more quickly

In terms of eligibility, the application form asks you to confirm:

“I am not an existing Virgin Atlantic Credit Card customer and I have not closed another credit card issued by Virgin Money in the last 6 months.”

This implies that you CAN apply again if you previously closed one of the Virgin Atlantic cards over six months ago, but that you cannot apply for a 2nd card if you already have one.  This is tucked away in the small print, however, and some readers have already been accepted for another card despite this.  Up to you if you want to try ….. if you are accepted, you WILL get the bonus.

How do the upgrade and companion vouchers work?

Each year you can earn a special extra reward.  Your reward is triggered IMMEDIATELY upon hitting the spending target.  The target is £20,000 in a card year for the free Virgin Atlantic Reward credit card and £10,000 in a card year for the £160 Virgin Atlantic Reward+ credit card.

Unlike the British Airways American Express cards, the rewards vary depending on your tier in the Virgin Flying Club scheme.  If you have elite status, you get a better reward.

This is what you can pick from:

All Flying Club members:

A 2-4-1 voucher, valid for two years, for a Virgin Flying Club redemption in Economy, or

A return upgrade to Premium when you book an Economy reward flight (requires reward availability in Premium)

Flying Club members with Silver status can choose from:

A 2-4-1 voucher, valid for two years, for a Virgin Flying Club redemption in Premium or Economy, or

A Virgin Clubhouse lounge pass for Heathrow or Gatwick (requires a same-day Virgin Atlantic flight), or

A return upgrade to Premium when you book an Economy reward flight (requires reward availability in Premium)

Flying Club members with Gold status can choose from:

A 2-4-1 voucher, valid for two years, for a Virgin Flying Club redemption in Upper Class, Premium or Economy

TWO Virgin Clubhouse lounge passes for Heathrow or Gatwick (require same-day Virgin Atlantic flights)

A return upgrade to Premium when you book an Economy reward flight (requires reward availability in Premium)

Taxes and charges are due on ‘free’ 241 seats in the same way as the British Airways American Express 241 vouchers.  Vouchers are valid for two years and you must fly the outbound leg of your trip before the expiry date.

Some tips on applying

Do NOT use the ‘pre-approval checker’ on the Virgin Money website.  It is a joke.  It is designed for Virgin Money’s mass-market cards and is likely to reject you for being too wealthy and so unlikely to pay interest.  Apply directly.

If your full application is rejected, this can often be overturned if you appeal in writing.  Write to Virgin Money at Jubilee House, Gosforth, Newcastle upon Tyne, NE3 4PL with a couple of paragraphs expressing your dismay, referencing your Virgin Atlantic status and/or that you had the old MBNA credit cards, and outlining your income and lack of non-mortgage debts.  They will reconsider and you will normally end up being successful.

Conclusion

This is an excellent sign-up bonus.  If you haven’t taken out one of the new Virgin Atlantic credit cards yet, I doubt you will see a better deal than this.  I genuinely don’t know how Virgin Money / Virgin Atlantic can afford such a bonus in the world of 0.3% interchange fees, and you should take advantage before they realise.

The £160 Reward+ card is the better overall package because of the high earning rate and the long-term spending bonus triggered at just £10,000.

However, even if the Reward+ card is not for you, EVERY Head for Points reader should think about picking up a cheeky 12,000 Virgin Flying Club miles by getting the free Virgin Atlantic Reward credit card and spending £1,000 within 90 days.

You can apply for either of the new Virgin Atlantic credit cards via this link.

Disclaimer: Head for Points is a journalistic website. Nothing here should be construed as financial advice, and it is your own responsibility to ensure that any product is right for your circumstances. Recommendations are based primarily on the ability to earn miles and points and do not consider interest rates, service levels or any impact on your credit history.  By recommending credit cards on this site, I am – technically – acting as a credit broker.  Robert Burgess, trading as Head for Points, is regulated and authorised by the Financial Conduct Authority to act as a credit broker.

Comments (259)

  • Lee CB says:

    Hi I took out the free card just over 5 months ago. So when I first read this hoped I was good to apply for the paid card in June but seems not as I should strictly have no virgin card for 6 months. So I will cancel the card and wait 6 months and hope for a similar promotion to pop up. Ironic that virgin are actually encouraging churning their cards just as Amex are doing the exact opposite
    Guess I could apply for the free one for my wife instead but read somewhere virgin only offer household accounts to Gold members?

    • Jamie says:

      You don’t actually need a household account with Virgin. The Virgin call centre allows you to book reward flights using miles from multiple accounts – so long as those people have contacted Virgin first to give their permission. Virgin used to always insist on each person having enough miles for at least one one-way segment, but they didn’t even insist on that the last time I booked reward seats for me and my partner – they just redeemed the majority from mine and a few thousand from his with no fuss.

  • skl22 says:

    With the premium card, can you downgrade to the free once the bonus is triggered, and get a pro-rata refund on the fee (as with the BA cards)?

    And I realise there are other considerations like the higher earning rate which may make it worth keeping regardless! This may be the thing that finally switches me from Avios to Virgin.

    • Rob says:

      Not clear. Some people got refunds, others inc my wife did not. Policy seems to be that you don’t.

      • Julian says:

        The commercially sensible policy is clearly to refuse the pro rata refund or alternatively they could still agree to pro rata refund as long as they can reclaim all the additional free miles received for the paying card compared to the free one (but why should they as they probably have all the hassle of cancelling one physical card and issuing another one). But if you have already spent all the extra bonus miles on the paying card then clearly they should refuse to refund you if they have any business sense.

        Surely people should just accept that trying to earn a substantial bonus on a paying card and then get nearly all the fee back is no different to ordering clothes from an online supplier, wearing them properly (i.e. not just to try on) and then sending them back for a full refund. In other words a practice dangerously close to being defined as criminal fraud that companies understandably wish to clamp down on and stop, even if they won’t actually be prosecuting anyone for it…….

        • skl22 says:

          Yes, you make a good point. It’s a loophole many of us have made hay from, and it really isn’t in the spirit of the offer, whether or not it might be within the letter of any rules (and it sounds like not in this case). Was just curious to see people’s experience with this card, as has been well known in the past that this is possible on the BA cards.

        • Julian says:

          Just to add that I’m more interested in the question of if I take the free card for now (I doubt the bonus is going to get more generous than 12,000 miles for the free card, although conceivably one more push for new customers for this card at 15,000 miles is possible) but then later decided to upgrade straight to the paying card could I earn the difference between the bonus then applicable for the free card and the one available for the paying card.

          Obviously it would be entirely reasonable and not at all fraudulent for me to expect to be able to earn the difference in signup bonus for moving to the more expensive version of the card that should also cause me to put nearly all my card spend with Virgin if I went for that option (would probably also even use Virgin while abroad via Curve to lower or eliminate exchange rate fees).

          • Julian says:

            Just looked at the Virgin Atlantic route network and if those are the only places one can go then clearly continuing to collect Avios is going to be a better bet for me. However I may go for the free card and take the 12,000 Avios as Caribbean destinations are of appeal to me having never been there at all. Then possibly I could still use this card for spend at any retailers not accepting Amex. Still also have to decide which Amex to go for when my Lloyds Rewards Amex finally closes down (still no date set so far in my case)

            However I believe there are other things that may become Virgin in the flights sphere like FlyBe, which might make it slightly more interesting.

          • Julian says:

            I meant take the free 12,000 Virgin Flying Club Miles of course……………….

          • Shoestring says:

            Flybe – & maybe the AF/ KLM destinations – & maybe Delta destinations

        • Charlieface says:

          You keep saying this, but no it’s very different. Someone who wears clothes then returns is going against the return policy and claiming a refund when not entitled. This is within the rules, if taking the mickey a bit. It’s much more like signing up every year for new insurance or utilities and taking advantage of below cost offers for new customers, which is widespread in every industry in the country.

          • luckyjim says:

            Indeed. And for every 1 who takes advantage there are 99 who intent to cancel before the end of the year but forget end up paying for a second year.

            I consider ‘inertia selling’ to be unethical. If taking the mickey discourages firms from such practices then so much the better.

        • Taylor says:

          About as far away from “criminal fraud” as the Earth is from Pluto.

  • Nate1309 says:

    This maybe a really silly question, but I know nothing about VFC. (Rob would you consider doing a VFC university series?)

    With the 241 voucher is it only redeemable on purely points redemptions like the BA one. Or can you book cash fare or part-pay and use the voucher?

  • Ian says:

    Like Lee CB I also have a free card and intended to upgrade to a premium one. The 6 month rule seems to have kiboshed this plan. Dunno whether to cancel and wait or apply anyway and see what happens.

    My other card is Amex Gold and I will be cancelling this. Dunno what to get to keep me ‘ticking over’ if I dont get a premium virgin card.

  • Munch says:

    The term states “I have not made a previous application for another credit card issued by Virgin Money in the last 6 months.” So the rule is from the date of application not the cancellation date of any previous cards? So in theory I can apply for the alternative card even if I have not cancelled my first card but the 2nd card must different to the first.

    • Ian says:

      The clause from the FAQ refers to Virgin MONEY credit cards which are different to Virgin Atlantic Credit Cards. As Rob pointed out in the article applicants are supposed to confirm that “I am not an existing Virgin Atlantic Credit Card customer and I have not closed another credit card issued by Virgin Money in the last 6 months.”

      Still dunno whether to apply and see what happens

  • EwanG says:

    In my case Shps Away is currently 3 miles per £ over £75, 1 mile per £ under that.
    T3sco cardclub is 1 point per £, or 2.5 FC miles per £.
    So if doing a small shop (<£75) you get more points at T3sco.

    The other thing to consider is you can get more than 1 cardclub point per £ is you use the pay plus ap or a T3sco credit card. There have been articles and comments on here.

    • Mark2 says:

      If you are a Waitrose shopper it will be a shock when you walk into Tesco!
      Have you seen the Waitrose in Worcester, probably the largest in the country with Wine and Tapas bar as well as Sushi, two restaurants and a community room for local organisations to use free .

      • Mark says:

        All very good, but can’t help feeling ripped off paying around 20p more for every single item I buy there versus Tesco…

    • Stella64 says:

      Thanks Ewan. It says 4 miles per £1 – which would explain the above. V odd though because when I log in normally it says I have no offers at the moment. No complaints as it is working in my favour.

    • Anna says:

      Hmm, depends where you go. The Dorchester Tesco (which I visited while on holiday in Dorset) has fountains and shrubs in the car park and I recall being very impressed that it sold goats’ cheese Babybels. Such things have never been seen in the north 😂

      • Stella64 says:

        IMHO none of the supermarkets near us are as fun as watching a box set while Ocado put your shopping in the kitchen for you. There is a one of those little Waitrose next to my office in the city where I could buy biscuits (and vouchers hopefully). Agreed re 20p price difference but cheap bulk purchases can be done at Waitrose using mySupermarket info from time to time.

  • Jack Noon says:

    Hey Rob! First off, I really appreciate all you do on this website, so thank you.

    I currently have the Virgin Atlantic Card and used to have the Virgin Atlantic+ Card, which I have since got rid of (probably about 6 months ago or so. If I were to get the Virgin Atlantic+ card again, having already been a previous holder – will I still receive the 30,000 points?

    • Rob says:

      The site says you won’t, no. But others readers in your position have been accepted so …

      • Shoestring says:

        Getting the card doesn’t mean you’ll get the bonus if Virgin spot you have another card (which isn’t exactly difficult)

        • Ian says:

          In the end I decided to apply and was accepted. Will have to wait and see if Virgin spot I have got another card (agreed this shouldn’t be difficult) and if I get the bonus.

          • Ian says:

            I’ve applied and been accepted. Already have the free card too. insha’Allah I get the miles.

          • Yawn says:

            Report back if / when they post?

  • Newbie says:

    Hi. I’ve not bothered to properly read the article or any other comments and so my questions might already have been answered but I’m a bit lazy so I’m going to ask them anyway.
    Here goes… [insert any question here]